Lloyds bank announces a further 850 job losses

Lloyds said the deal was part of its strategy to reduce its international presence. Lloyds said it hopes the cuts can be achieved through voluntary redundancies

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Lloyds Banking Group is planning a further 850 job cuts and the closure of a large office in Essex.

The bank said more than 600 jobs would go when an office in Southend shuts, with the remainder going in its commercial and insurance operations.

Lloyds, which has announced 2,750 job losses this year, said it would look for voluntary redundancies, with compulsory cuts "as a last resort".

But the Unite union said it was "no way to treat staff".

The bank said in a statement: "Lloyds Banking Group is committed to working through these changes with employees in a careful and sensitive way.

"All affected employees have been briefed by their line manager today. The group's recognised unions were consulted prior to this announcement and will continue to be consulted.

"In fact, during 2012, around only a third of role reductions led to people leaving the group through redundancy."

But the Unite union's national officer Dominic Hook said: "Lloyds is celebrating a return to profit and there are hints of dividend payouts to shareholders, but the bank's workers are in constant fear that they will be next for the chop.

"This is no way to treat staff. It's time to urgently review this continuous tide of cuts and build the bank's strength.

Unite claimed that the UK's big banks had shed more than 5,000 jobs this year.

"The constant job cuts across the banking industry is bad for bank staff, does nothing to support customers and it's bad for Britain's economy," Mr Hook said.

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